Monday, January 4, 2010

Say No to Graduate School (Especially in the Humanities)

Happy New Year, Carto-fans!

I am already well on my way to succeeding with my New Year's resolutions:

New Year's resolution #1: Break that crack cocaine addiction once and for all. So far so good... haven't had a craving once this year... or ever.

New Year's resolution #2: Continue to resist the urge to go back to graduate school.

Since graduating from Library School, back in the dark ages, before Al Gore invented the Internet, it has been suggested to me that I ought to go back for a second master's or a PhD. I have occasionally given it more than 30 seconds of consideration. But fortunately, I have consistently resisted the urge. I could spend years, and thousands of dollars, but who can guarantee that it would pay off with a better job... or any job?

Last year, Thomas H. Benton gave this same advice in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

I include this link to his article, Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go, because (1) it is good advice to undergraduates, and (2) it comes with a spiffy map related graphic.
Most undergraduates don't realize that there is a shrinking percentage of positions in the humanities that offer job security, benefits, and a livable salary (though it is generally much lower than salaries in other fields requiring as many years of training). They don't know that you probably will have to accept living almost anywhere, and that you must also go through a six-year probationary period at the end of which you may be fired for any number of reasons and find yourself exiled from the profession. They seem to think becoming a humanities professor is a reliable prospect — a more responsible and secure choice than, say, attempting to make it as a freelance writer, or an actor, or a professional athlete — and, as a result, they don't make any fallback plans until it is too late.
Cartophiliac Jr. often speaks of getting a PhD in his chosen field in the Humanities. I hope he also works on his burger grill and deep-fry skills...

Just Don't Go, Part 2

New Year's Resolution #3: Continue to provide amusing map related illustrations whenever I see something that tickles my fancy, and I have the time and/or inclination to post it here.

There, I think that covers everything.

Happy 2010!



At Monday, January 04, 2010 , Blogger Reticula said...

Wish I'd known #2 before I got this master's degree.

At Wednesday, January 06, 2010 , Blogger Chris said...

Hey hey! You covered my old simplified interstate map awhile back, and I wanted to let you know I've created a new, revised edition that addresses many of the errors and omissions of the original. Hopefully it is also even more interesting to look at too!


Chris Yates

At Wednesday, January 06, 2010 , Blogger Cartophiliac said...

Nice. I am planning another post on this kind of map in the near future, I will include yours.



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